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Manipulating a XML file using DHTML

In this tutorial, we look at using DHTML to retrieve and display a XML file. This is useful when you need a client side method of including XML files on your webpages.

Retrieving a XML file using DHTML

First and foremost, I should mention that XML file retrieval is only possible in IE5+/NS6+, using their respective DOMs (Document Object Model). The technique required is different for the two browsers (yes, a big surprise!).

- Retrieving a XML file in IE5+

In IE5+, we rely on the ActiveXObject() object to fetch a XML file:

var xmlDoc = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLDOM");
xmlDoc.load("myfile.xml");

With the above, IE5 loads "myfile.xml" into browser memory, awaiting further instructions from you.

- Retrieving a XML file in NS6+

In NS6, the syntax required is equally straightforward, though one may add, unorthodox:

var xmlDoc= document.implementation.createDocument("","doc",null);
xmlDoc.load("myfile.xml");

- Cross browser XML file retrieval

An unavoidable step these days, let's mash everything together and derive at a cross browser code:

if (window.ActiveXObject)
var xmlDoc = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLDOM");
else if (document.implementation && document.implementation.createDocument)
var xmlDoc= document.implementation.createDocument("","doc",null);

xmlDoc.load("myfile.xml");

Notice how two levels of object detection is required in NS6's case. There you have it- XML file retrieval the DHTML way!